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The Waterfronts Parliament: A PLUS FOR PRESIDENT JONATHAN

Angaladikibo, the Watcher of the Mangroves, listened to the total silence of the Parliamentary Hall as he sat down like others, waiting for the appointed time to begin deliberation. The People of the Waterfronts have gathered as usual in their Parliamentary Hall to discuss the Shenanigans of the People of the City. It is their habit, unlike the People of the City, to arrive at occasions before the appointed time. So they all waited silently for the appointed time, each immersed in his or her thoughts.
Angaladikibo turned to his usual pastime, gazing at the Mangroves. He shuddered as his mind opened, as usual whenever he gazed at the Mangroves, revealing to him that the People of the City have lost the capacity to feel ashamed of corruption. It has come to a level where you are hailed when you steal millions, nay, trillions. That is why Hon. Lawan Farouk could boldly say he was ready to appear in court despite evidence of his taking bribe to influence the subsidy report as it concerned Femi Otedola. That is why the masses just kept quiet, waiting, watching, knowing that the whole bribery saga would one day fizzle out and life continues. Corruption has so bedeviled the nation that, as Professor Niyi Osundare would say, it has been elevated to “Grand Commandeer of the Federal Republic of Nigeria”. According to him in a lecture he delivered on Monday, July 9, 2012, “Why is it that Nigerians no longer blush? How did we come to lose our sense of shame after losing our sense of propriety and proportion? How did we come to develop a skin that is so thick that no arrows of degradation, no needles of dehumanization are ever sharp and violent enough to penetrate our body and rouse our senses! How did our nerves slide into their present state of stupor? How did we plunge into this state of dysconsciousness? Catastrophes that would shake normal societies to their very foundations hit and leave us unfazed. Tyrants in military uniform whipped us with scorpions; only a few of us protested. Now their civilian inheritors are scourging us with serpents, and many of us respond with ‘ranka dede’. Politicians and other public functionaries empty public treasuries and squander our patrimony/commonwealth right before our very eye;, we pray to God to aid their effort. Time there was when these public thieves stole our money in millions of naira; now they do so in billions and trillions; and many of us urge them on and envy their luck.” Professor Wole Soyinka had much earlier, stated, “You thief ten kobo they put you for prison/, You thief ten million na patriotism……/ They go give you chieftaincy and national honour/ You thief even bigger, dem go say na rumour/ Monkey dey work o, baboon dey chop/ Sweet pounded yam someday I go stop.”
Angaladikibo’s thoughts shifted to another sickness of the People of the City. Every day, they shout, “Holy Ghost Fire consume, destroy! Holy Ghost Fire consume, destroy.” Now, the very chanting of Holy Ghost fire with their corrupt lips are now manifesting everywhere in Rivers State. There is now fire everywhere, on the street, in offices, at homes and in vessels. The other day a tanker loaded with fuel fell down and purposely waited for the people to come out to scoop the spilled contents. It exploded when it saw hundreds of people around it, enveloping them in fire. About 200 people, men, women, youths, children, got roasted in the inferno. Poor people, they thought it was a God sent opportunity to also have a taste of the dividends of democracy. Sorry for them, they had to go beyond to enjoy the dividends of democracy that they were denied of here. That happened at Okogbe in Rivers State. The chant of Holy Ghost fire continued and forced the Joint Task Force, JTF, known as “Operation Pulo Shield” in the Niger Delta to set fire on houses at Elechi Beach Waterside in a bid to prevent illegal bunkering. That was before they set five tankers used for illegal bunkering on fire along the Eneka-Igwuruta road, in the state. According to reports, the Elechi Beach fire consumed three people and destroyed about 30 houses. The residents alleged that the state government sent them to burn down the area in preparation to take over the place like Njemanze and Abonnema Wharf. The JTF said they only burnt bunkering hide-outs. Who is lying and who is telling the truth? Time will tell.
The Holy Ghost fire chanting continued and the Holy Ghost fire went to media houses, consuming the building of the Newspaper Corporation of Rivers State, publishers of The Tide newspaper and also consumed the engine room of the Silverbird Rhythm FM radio Station. That was not enough. The fire went straight to Abuloma jetty and consumed some vessels along with human beings. Angaladikibo wondered if the People of the City would ever learn. Don’t they know that something that is repeated often come to pass? Is it not the same way they continue to shout witches and wizards and demons in their prayers and preaching, making it to manifest in their members? Odumodu, please teach them this simple lesson.
Angaladikibo’s thoughts were cut short by the Oldman of the Waterfronts who suddenly got up to perform his task of calling on the ancestors at the appointed time, to begin the deliberations. He picked up the bottle of the local white brew with his left hand and his right hand picked up the little glass cup, permanent companion of the bottle of the local white brew. He filled it and began his call on the ancestors.
“Odumodu, great ancestor of the People of the Waterfronts, your descendants have gathered once again to find ways to cure the madness of the People of the City. It is only you, our ancestors that could help us. Take, drink and carry out your duties as ancestors.
“Odumodu, dweller at the domain between the land and the sea, direct your great grandson, he of the good luck fame and let him steer the ship of State to its destination safely. Take, drink and let him rise up to the task of making our roads passable, making us have food on out table and letting us have electricity as he promised.

“Otumo-Ogugu, Favourite of the Maidens, he who goes in and out of the Maidens detecting the unfaithful and wayward ones, take and drink. What can we do without you, our ancestors? We need your assistance to understand the ways of the People of the City who are wielding the axe without differentiating their fellow human beings from the woods. Lead us to safety.
“Osokolo, another Favourite of the Maidens, he who pursues the Maidens out of the Waterfronts, reminding them of their duties at home, also take and drink. Join your co-ancestors to inculcate conscience in the minds of the People of the City.”
The Oldman of the Waterfronts ended his libation. He refilled the little glass cup and upturned it into his mouth, gulping it down at a go. He allowed the bottle of the local white brew and the little glass cup to go round the hall.
Okolobo, he of the Creeks, got up to speak. “People of the Waterfronts, I greet you all. I will like to make a comment on the return of Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State. The governor, on the platform of the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, won the governorship election held in Edo State on July 14, 2012. He won with 477,478 votes while his closest rival, retired General Charles Airhiavbere of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, got 144,235. He won with such a wide margin because he performed as a governor. It would have been surprising if he did not win. He has modernized Benin City in his first tenure. He has built roads both in the state capital and its environs. He built health centres, schools and the gutters are workings. He has endeared himself to the masses and they have in turn thanked him by voting massively for him.
“Writing in his column “As It Is” in The Nation, Soji Omotunde said, “The performance of any focused and determined administration will ever be available to speak for it. The decision of the people of Edo State last week when the votes were allowed to count spoke for the visible outstanding performance of comrade Adams Oshiomhole.” I agree with him, People of the Waterfronts. However, I wish to add that credit must be given to President Goodluck Jonathan also. The victory of Adams Oshiomhole without bloodshed is a plus for the president. Funke Egbemode aptly caught it when she said, “However, without a President not disposed to do-or-die, the General (Airhiavbere) could have caged the comrades-o. All that threat and boasts of we ‘ll defend and die with our votes would have led to burials, tears and election tribunal if those soldiers and cops had opened fire on voters-o. We would have screamed and called Jonathan and Jega names but the General would have been sworn-in”.
“People of the Waterfronts, if we have had presidents that allow free and fair elections, where votes count since we began this democratic process, things would have been better and governors and other elected officers would have struggled to perform. Our roads would have been better, electricity would have been constant, hospitals would have functioned effectively and the nation would have been a shining example to other African nations. The President deserved applause. Let us encourage him to keep it up and transform the nation as he promised.”
The People of the Waterfronts looked at each other, smiled and nodded their heads. The Oldman of the Waterfronts filled the little glass cup and swallowed all. He sent the bottle of the local white brew and the little glass cup round and each of them swallowed a glassful. ###

By Kenneth Amabipi
0803 668 7846
Email: kennymaps@yahoo.co.uk

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